Fifteen Kansas breastfeeding support projects receive 2015 Impact Funding grants

Through donor contributions of $19,650 and matching dollars from the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, a total of $42,850 in grants has been awarded to support projects to increase initiation and duration of breastfeeding in communities across Kansas.  Logo2-760w2015 was the second year of Impact Funding, where members contribute funds to join the team and have their donations matched by the Health Fund to increase impact.  Members are invited to participate in meetings to develop a Request for Proposals guiding the grant application process, and to evaluate and decide which received proposals to fund with the available dollars.  The input of the diverse team, including several knowledgeable breastfeeding advocates, was crucial to the funding decision process.  The 2015 Impact Funding Team received 25 proposals for breastfeeding grants and selected 15 of those projects to receive funding.

Grants awarded in the 2015 cycle will support:

  • Establishment of a breastfeeding clinic at Memorial Health System in Abilene and implementation of new and improved breastfeeding support programs at the hospital.
  • “On the Go Breastfeeding” program to support moms and babies in Cowley County by providing breastfeeding resources at community events and to help community organizers designate breastfeeding accommodations at events where seating and shelter are limited.
  • A presentation by Sherry Payne, national expert on culturally appropriate lactation counseling, at Kansas La Leche League’s 2016 Annual Breastfeeding Education Conference and LLL Leader Education Day.
  • Use of the Influence Model developed by David Maxfield to encourage Lyon, Chase, and Coffey county mothers participating in WIC and Becoming a Mom to consider exclusive breastfeeding, understand the benefits, and to have access to counseling with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
  • Creation of a mini breastfeeding clinic within the Butler County Health Department, open to all pregnant women and mothers in the county. Services will include breastfeeding education, support with breastfeeding difficulties, infant weight checks, and preparation for continuing breastfeeding after returning to work, among other supports.
  • Hiring of a Community Breastfeeding Liaison through the Saline County Breastfeeding Coalition.  The Liaison will serve as a breastfeeding resource and educator to area medical facilities, improving the consistency and quality of information available to breastfeeding families.
  • Provision of educational information about the benefits and management of breastfeeding to pregnant women through the Bourbon County Health Department. Breastfeeding counseling and support will also be provided to pregnant women through home visits, telephone support, and support at numerous sites throughout the county.
  • Enhancement of a breastfeeding support group and improvements to a breastfeeding support room at the Wyandotte County WIC program.
  • Efforts to help Cheyenne County mothers initiate and maintain breastfeeding, with special attention to supporting mothers after discharge from the hospital. The program includes mother-to-mother support and a monthly mother-led breastfeeding support group.
  • Implementation of the “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” model to provide education to area agencies and businesses on the importance of having a secure breastfeeding area, and to increase the positive image of breastfeeding as part of everyday living in Harvey County.
  • Efforts by the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition to increase the number of local breastfeeding coalitions across Kansas and to build capacity and leadership in all local breastfeeding coalitions through better access to information, assistance, and resources.
  • Addition of a breast pump program providing breast pumps, pump education and pump support to postpartum and breastfeeding clients of the MOM Clinic at SWB Family Health Care in Wyandotte County and surrounding KC areas.
  • Upgrades to a lactation room at Rooks County Health Center to provide additional capacity for outpatient and employee lactation and to enable lactation consultation through telemedicine/televideo for clients living at greater distances from the hospital.
  • A partnership between Wichita-based It Takes a Village, Stork’s Nest, and the Urban Preparatory Academy to provide education and support to pregnant/parenting families to improve birth outcomes, focusing particularly on African-American women.  Volunteer minority health professionals and peer mentors from the community will staff the project.
  • A project to provide education and resources equipping new parents in Beloit, Concordia, Osborne, and Smith Center with confidence to initiate and continue breastfeeding. The project will include the availability of breast pumps for loan, resources for use in educational settings and individual support, and improved communication and contact with mothers-to-be and new moms.  Clients from Jewell, Republic, and Washington counties will also be served by the project.

We would like to extend a huge thank-you to the donors that made the above 2015 grants possible:

Kevin Arnel, Brenda Bandy, Barry Bloom, Dr. Robert & Shirley Black, Joe and Donna Butcher, Edgerton United Methodist Church, Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Ken & Martha Hagen, Healthy Congregations Retreat participants (32 who donated their deposit checks), Paul & Betty Hodson, Jackie John, Richard & Pam Martin, Kim Moore, Paul Moore, Janet Hamilton Newton, Carmen San Martin & Robert Kraft, Soroptomists, and Gwen Whittit.  A very special thank you goes out to Kearny County Health Care Foundation for their $10,000 contribution to support breastfeeding in Kansas.

Members of the Impact Funding Team contribute funds to join the team, with their donations matched dollar for dollar by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund to double the impact. Members are invited to participate in meetings to develop a Request for Proposals describing the grant funding opportunity, and to evaluate and decide which applications to fund with the available dollars. For 2015, the Impact Funding Team again focused on supporting exclusive breastfeeding – initiation, duration, or both – throughout communities in Kansas.